Chappelle’s Israel-Gaza Comments: Applause, Jeers, Walkouts
Fulton County’s new prosecutor is James White. It’s a job – a second opportunity – that even he can’t believe.
White was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of armed robbery in Coweta County in 2005.
“By 17, I quit school like everyone in my household, and by 21, I was in prison like most of the young Black guys in my community,” he told me.
White chose to educate himself while incarcerated.
“Man, I just became an encyclopedia,” he said. “Just reading, reading, reading.”
He earned his GED, and two years after being released, a friend assisted him in enrolling at Benedict College in South Carolina.
White received summa cum laude, graduated first in his class, and was elected student body president. He stated that he “just went all in” with his education.
Nonetheless, his criminal record as a young man hampered his ambition of becoming an educator.
But he discovered that he could be able to practice law.
“You can still get into law school as a convicted felon,” White told me. “You must spell out everything—every single detail. Nothing is being held back. That’s exactly what I did.”
Prosecutors in Coweta County agreed to conceal his criminal record under Georgia’s first offender legislation, enabling him to sit the bar test. And in 2020, White finished law school at Ohio State University.
As of this week, he’s now an assistant prosecutor in the Fulton County Solicitor’s Office, working in the second chance diversion program under Solicitor General Keith Gammage.
“I believe he’s empathetic about the fact that he committed an infraction and made a mistake,” Gammage said. “And I believe he is highly motivated to protect victims while also having a compassionate heart to determine who deserves a second chance.”
“Who better than me?” White inquired about his new post.
“Who better than someone who has experienced the criminal justice system?” He asked who committed the errors and had the insight to say, “You know what? I need to take accountability,” he said.
On Wednesday, White was sworn in in front of a crowded courtroom.
And who’s in the front row? He apologizes to the guy he stole more than 15 years ago and expresses gratitude for this second opportunity.